The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Failure to rise

rb75453's picture
rb75453

Failure to rise

I made a bread containing rye flour. Specifically 2c bread flour, 3/4c whole grain rye, 1/4c whole wheat, 12oz rye beer, 1 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t yeast. I left over night and it rose well. I kneaded it and put in a proofing basket. It never rose again. After near five hours I gave up and baked it.

Since it didn't rise, it has a close and moist crumb. Actually I like the way it turned out.

It's just that it was not what I was trying to bake. If you create a continuum running from  commercial Jewish Rye on one end and pumpernickel on the other.  In terms of texture I was aiming toward the JR and what I got was more toward the pumpernickel.

Why didn't it rise? What did I do wrong?

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out the percentage of whole grain flour here, as I always work in grams weight instead of volume (cups and such). However, that does look like a fairly high percentage of whole grain flour. Even though the amount of yeast is small, whole grain flour (especially rye) tends to ferment faster than unbleached bread flour, so the overnight bulk ferment might have been too much and the yeast did all its work in that stage with no 'push' left for the final proof. Many 100% rye breads have a very short bulk ferment and final proof.

I make a Jewish Deli Rye that is based on a Peter Reinhart recipe from "Crust and Crumb". It is a sourdough with maybe 35% total rye flour (some in the starter). I let the finished dough sit at room temperature for a couple of hours then put it in the fridge overnight. I shape it cold in the morning and bake it after 1.5 to 2 hours in the proofing baskets. If I let either stage sit at room temperature for too long it quickly overproofs and ends us dense and flat.

rb75453's picture
rb75453

Thanks for info. If I understand correctly the most likely cause was over bulk fermentation. So should I try putting dough in fridge rather than a warm room over night. Or shorten the time for bulk fermentation.   I think the fridge approach would be the simpler of the two. Which would you recommend?

I will check out Crust and Crumb. Thanks again for the info.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I guess it depends on your schedule. Sometimes the shorter bulk fermentation at room temperature is nice because you can watch the dough and shape it when it's 'ready' (and 'ready' depends a lot on the hydration level, the strength of your starter, the blend of flours, etc.). On the other hand, the overnight ferment in the fridge can often add a lot of flavour and can also be more convenient, depending on when you started and when you want to bake the bread. Just be aware that the bread will continue to ferment in the fridge, albeit more slowly, especially at the beginning when the middle of the dough hasn't cooled down to fridge temperature yet. So put it in there when the dough shows a bit of activity, but not when it's almost 'ready'. Make sense?

rb75453's picture
rb75453

Currently not at home but when I return I'm going to try this again. I will weight the flour, for accuracy and ferment over night in the fridge. Should be interesting.

For the record everyone who has tried my failure, loves it. I love happy accidents but I prefer to know the WHY. So we'll see what happens when the fermentation is retarded.

Thanks for the advice Lazy Loafer and may I assume you are an Abbot and Costello fan?

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Who's on first?

rb75453's picture
rb75453

Abbott gets a job loafing. Its on YouTube. I thought as a Loafer you might have seen it. Check it out.

rb75453's picture
rb75453

Have now successfully baked my rye bread three times, following your advice on fermenting overnight in the fridge.

Am also reading Crust and Crumb. Thanks for information and advice.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Glad it has worked out for you. Thanks for letting me know!

RL Perry's picture
RL Perry

I just found this wonderful site tonight and am so excited to read and start baking!  My problem in baking is that I live at 6500' altitude and have difficulty getting the leavening, sugar, and liquids in correct amounts to produce quality products.   I understand the air pressure is lower and the air is thinner at this altitude.  Do you have any articles I can read to help me?

Thank you SO much for this wonderful site!

RL Perry

IceDemeter's picture
IceDemeter

for you, so that your post doesn't get missed (and so that we don't derail the original thread here). 

Please check it out here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/53884/welcome-rl-perry-new-thread-about-high-elevation-baking